Ask Murketing: What’s up with different subtitles on Buying In?

Posted by Rob Walker on August 16, 2010
Posted Under: Ask Murketing,Buying In (the book)

Q: I just wanted to recommend “Buying In” to someone, and I could not remember the full name, so I went to Amazon, and was surprised to find two full names, one with “The Secret Dialogue” and the other with “What We Buy”.  Are these the same book or two different books?  I want to make sure that I’m recommending the one I read.

A: Buying In: What We Buy and Who We Are is in fact the same book as Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are. The publisher thought it would be good to shorten the subtitle when the paperback version was published, because it would “allow for a less-cluttered and more powerful cover design.” Personally I thought the “secret dialogue” bit was the most interesting element of the title, but what do I know? Well, I know what I said when this was suggested: “okay.” It’s actually not all that unusual for books that are, shall we say, not best-sellers, to have their subtitles or even titles tweaked — Tyler Cowen’s last book came out in paper with a completely different title than the hardback version, to name a recent example. In any event, it is the same book; the only difference is that a few typos are corrected in the paperback version. If you recommend either, you should be fine.

N.B.: Questions in “Ask Murketing,” basically a new feature, though I may have tried it earlier, are real and verbatim, and selected for inclusion from email I receive because I believe the answer may be relevant, or of interest, to others.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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